Since people found out decades ago, that they could make money by ranking their web pages in the search engines, it has been a constant non-stop battle between the search engines and people trying to get their page higher than everybody else’s page. In the good old days (were they good?) you could use tricks and techniques to get yourself ranking fairly easily. In fact, you could just put the same word over and over on a webpage and google would rank it at the top for that word. Those days are gone of course. These days most of the tricks that people used in the past (that we call black hat) can get you removed from Google. You won’t even have to worry about being on the front page because you won’t even be on the last page. Here are a few things that you most definitely must do these days if you want to rank though.
Content content content
Although the number one ranking factor is generally backlinks, these days content will give you more play. If you put good content out there, the backlinks will come organically. When we say you need content we don’t mean one page of a few paragraphs, we mean a lot more than that. Just to give you an idea, we generally consider 100 articles of over a thousand words each a decent starting point. Though others might disagree that content is king, and tell you to promote the content that you have more, we have found the most organic growth to come from good content.
Give google what it wants
Understand what Google wants. Remember that they are a service. They are providing this service to people that come to their site to find things that they want to find. It is their job to present the best possible website in the search results for what somebody wants to find. So, if you want to be in the number one spot on google for something, then be the best possible destination what they’re searching for that particular search. Then it’s just a matter of letting Google know that you are as good as you are and that they should rank you for that keyword. If you do a good job that will all happen organically without much effort.
Know what people are searching for. People often search for things without knowing exactly what they’re searching for and how they’re searching for it. Google these days has done a very good job adding search intent. This means that they will show other possible search queries that are similar to the search query that was made. Up until fairly recently, you had to figure out the search queries on your own and that became a skill in itself. Now you can type something fairly close and Google will present you with many other possible queries that you might have put in that might be more relevant to what you want. If you know what people are searching for you can give them what they are looking for.
Keywords are similar to search intent, but they’re more specifically a subset. The more you know how many people search for certain keywords the better chance you have of driving traffic to your site. You will often see companies that say they can get you on the first page of google, but what they don’t tell you is they can get you on the front page for a low competition keyword. If you want to be on the first page of google for “socks for centipedes”, it’s a done deal. But if you want to get on the first page of google for something competitive such as “medical insurance” you can have a lot of work ahead of you. The trick is to find a balance between the competition for the keyword and the number of people that search for it.
These days your website needs to be secure. You need to get an ssl certificate. in the old days, you only did this for your e-commerce site or some site where you take money as it would slow the web site down. These days things have become better so that an ssl certificate does not slow your web page. However, if you do not have your website secure, google will not rank it well. So it is imperative that you make sure that you have a security certificate. Just for note, you don’t have to spend any money on one as there are a few companies that will do it for you for free. The only downside to those companies is that you have to renew it every three months as opposed to every year. But it only takes a few minutes.
It’s getting to the point where there are more searches through the mobile side of things than then there is on the computer side of things. Google gives great points if your site is highly responsive, so make sure that your site looks just as good on a cellphone as it does on the web. We believe that in a few more years the vast majority of web pages will be viewed on a cellphone and not on a web browser on your computer. So, you might as well make sure it looks good now.
Really getting ranked has not much changed over the years. What has changed the most is that you can’t use tricks anymore. Of course, there are some tricks that still work but we don’t suggest you do them as Google is deleting them one by one. Your best bet is to just give Google what Google wants. Make a great site, with great content, and then post it out there to the social media and anybody else you can get and you will find that almost like magic you will rise in the ranks.